Most of us can recall certain days in our lives that always stand out in our memories. They brought great changes to our lives. One such day for me was 22 August 1964, some 57 years ago as I write this.
I had come home from Melbourne to Qld for mid-year holidays. I was half-way through my first year theological studies and had travelled to Monto to visit my sister’s family where her husband was the Rector of the parish.
I had asked my very best and dearly loved friend Carole to come with me because I would soon be going back to Melbourne and would not see her again for several months. Now we were on the way home from Monto and we pulled up outside a little town called Esk before we drove the last section home. We began to talk about the future, hers and mine. Somehow we knew that they would be linked in the days ahead, such was the closeness of our friendship. But that would be much further in the future. So I thought!
The conversation began to focus on how much we had missed each other over the first part of the year and how sad it would be to say “Farewell” again in just a few days’ time. I knew that I would have at least another 3 years in Melbourne and Carole would have another 18 months to finish her teaching bond with the Qld Dept of Education. 18 months seemed to be ages away and with very little time to spend together over that period.
It seemed to me that Carole had already decided that I would be her life-partner for she was knocking back all the dates she was being offered, and there were many for such an attractive young woman. I had certainly made the same decision about my life partner. It would be Carole. But wasn’t it too early to propose? I sat there battling the biggest decision of my life. Should I propose or leave it, as I had been thinking, for a later date.
I felt that God’s smile was on our relationship. He was at the centre of our relationship for he had brought us together and our Christian friends seemed to think we were meant to be together. But it still seemed to be a bit unreal that I could ever be married to such a gorgeous, attractive, intelligent creature. I had learned about God’s grace being poured out on undeserving creatures so could it possibly be true that He had brought us together in His grace and in His love, to serve Him together to His glory. I took step of faith. I think my conversation went something like this, ”Carole what would you say if one day I asked you to marry me?” Her answer was immediate, “I would say ‘Yes’.” My response was also immediate, “Carole, will you marry me?” How delightful to hear this fabulous creature say, “Of course I will.”
About 3.30pm on that special day, 22 August 1964 we had pulled up outside Esk with lots of questions in our minds about the future. About an hour later we drove away with the biggest question answered, the question of with whom we would share the remainder of our lives. Exactly 18 months later we were married and served the Lord together for some 53 years until her death in October 2019. What a privilege to have been married to such a beautiful, loving, God fearing woman whom the Lord sent into my life almost 60 years ago.
As we look at the special days in our lives we are reminded that they are special because they remind us of the loving hand of our Heavenly Father guiding us through the maze of all sorts of circumstances and all types of relationships so that we finish up with His VERY BEST as we seek to live for Him. The writer of Proverbs posed a question which I have been able to answer. This is the question, Pro 31:10 “An excellent wife who can find?” My answer?“I found one!” And Carole fully answered the description of the excellent wife that the writer of Proverbs then went on to describe, “She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. “Proverbs 31:10-12.
How true those words are of my beloved Carole. How blessed was I! And every August 22nd reminds me of God’s incredible grace to me in His choice of my life-partner, the mother of our children, the grandma to our grandchildren and my fellow-servant in decades of ministry. Praise the Lord! Great things He has done! And I am perpetually grateful for His amazing grace to me!
Blog No.382 posted on http://www.jimholbeck.blog on 22nd August 2021